Tearing Down Siloes

How Collaboration is Encouraged at KAR Auction Services

With 330 locations across North American and the United Kingdom, KAR Auction Services does quite a bit of business with car sellers and buyers across the global wholesale used vehicle industry. As a result of selling five million units valued at over $40 billion through its auctions, KAR has accumulated a lot of data.


KAR Auction Services logo

Jason Hagen Headshot

When process manager Jason Hagen started working at KAR a few years ago, he recognized that there were opportunities to improve not only data quality, but also to harness KAR’s data to drive service and process improvements. He also believed that these enhancements would have long‑lasting effects across the business.

“At that time, there was no ownership of data or metrics, or locations of output. Delivery in support was inconsistent because we lacked control. There was no cohesiveness in terms of data,” said Hagen. In short, they had a lot of gaps and siloes.

KAR started to address their issues by creating a set of standard metrics and definitions. Using the Now Platform™ as their single source of record and leveraging ServiceNow reports to mine for data, the KAR team was able to agree upon some achievable goals.

KAR has 17,000+ employees and before standardization, the company had context problems. “Everyone had the same information, but they were all looking at it from different angles. For example, users would have different definitions for ‘resolved’ and ‘closed.’ And what that does is drive problems and trust issues with the data,” said Hagen.

The concept of trust is important. When people don't trust their data, they don’t adopt new systems. This is a major hindrance to the transformation needed to become a responsive business.


The Beauty of Performance Analytics


While historic metric automation saved time and provided near real‑time data availability to all of KAR’s staff, understanding how to be successful was still a problem. KAR’s people had no visibility into the actions they needed to take in order to achieve their metric goals.

Row of Cars

The beauty of ServiceNow® Performance Analytics is that it allowed KAR’s IT team to serve up consumable data on a single pane of glass. And they were able to take real‑time reports and pull data from metrics and from SLA definitions, allowing the IT team to mix them with Performance Analytics’ automated indicators, which provide more flexibility. Indicators can now be measured over time—a week ago, a day ago, an hour ago.


“We run daily and hourly job schedules to collect that data, calculate it, and push it back out to our operational teams. We use things such as widgets and gauges to really visualize the data, so they could have something they could see and easily understand and grasp what was going on and what the next action was,” said Hagen.


Having a data conversation


“All of our formats, whether coming from a report or coming from Performance Analytics, were very interactive and that's really been a very big key to success for us. Our staff can access the records themselves and interact with them in real time…so it becomes very easy for us to have a data conversation.”


KAR’s first step in the journey was establishing a data foundation and publishing the information about that data. Because the data is actionable, they are helping to drive service optimization within their organization. This demonstrates the importance of the relationship between the people who work processes and the people who own the processes and services.

Grain Field with Siloes

Allowing teams to collaborate and tear down siloes


“When we started the journey, we had a service owner that owned the service and then we had folks operating and supporting the service and delivering the service. And we had the process owner, but they weren't really tied together. There was no relationship there. Now, the data really draws the issues up to the surface and allows the teams to collaborate together as opposed to functioning in siloes,” said Hagen.

Value outcomes

After a year into their transition journey, KAR is enjoying a decrease of:

    · 94% in time for the maintenance of metrics—something that used to take days is          now done in just a couple of hours

    · 60% in critical response time to resolve—reduced to a few hours on average

    · 50% in non‑critical response time to resolve—reduced to just over a day on average

    · 70% in the incidents and requests backlog

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